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XR400 swingarm pivot bolt

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Aalllrighty riders & backyard tech's,

I believe I have searched & read all that has posted concerning this problem (C&B's 12X12 12 foot long & horizontal yard beating??) but need someone to correct/guide me before I step into the garage/ring for round two and really screw/beat myself into a no-return corner. I am a average mech-tech having work'd on outboards & scooters for many years & have seen corrosion between steel bolts and cast aluminum parts/casings. I know the value/benefits of HEAT & BEAT !

I recently acquired a street titled XR4 from an individual who, same as our beloved honda manufacturer and dealers, evidently did not ever remove,much less lube this all important suspension/engine mounting bolt.

It appears the bolt is stuck in engine case,(as most evidently are)the swingarm moves up and down (top shock bolt removed) it pivots on bush/bearings, but bolt does not turn/pivot during this movement. It also will not turn/budge w/a 17mm socket on a 1/2" drive MAC impact gun(set to max smack) pounding on bolt head(lefty loosy) to get it to twist after copious amounts of PB Blaster applied at all available lube points.I ASSUME that this bolt is not threaded into right side frame hole ?

:thumbsup: My MAIN concern/question, before I mushroom/destroy the end of pivot bolt tommorow is, after I remove shock and linkage to allow heating of the engine case area/bolt tunnel,

[1] How do you drive/strike(land a blow consistantly)on the threaded end of bolt that is below edge of mounting hole(recessed hole for nut) in right side of frame ? (Brass drift or small ballpein held on bolt end and struck w/ *3 sledge??) [2] Won't all this 8# sledge hammering on a hollow bolt end, deform/mushroom end beyond any hope of getting it to pass thru frame hole that you are inching it towards and then have to drive/push/remove it thru five or six more similar holes(swing arm bush/bearings,engine case, and left side of swingarm bush/bearing,left frame hole) on it's route completely out?

Today, I installed the pivot bolt nut on upsidedown and screwed it down approximately 1/2" onto bolt end with a pair of channel locks via flanged edge/base of nut, in order to have a flat surface to pound on that protruded outside/beyond recessed hole. Gave it a couple of good smacks w/a 3# ballpenis(har)hammer, thought bolt moved slightly,only to discover that I had started to strip the threads in the nut, by not havin a full length of nut threaded onto bolt. I was extremely lucky to get the nut off, as flange on bottom of nut was almost flush w/the frame boss of hole, & w/the partially damaged nut threads and lack of surface area to grip it was a struggle.Needless to say bolt did not budge. :ride:

Any answers,tips,methods or hands on experience from this operation will be greatly appreciated & possibly even paid for if necessary. (for your typing skills and time via paypal acct.) :applause:

Thanks for any wisdom/experience parlayed to me on this overworked subject, :applause:

John Disgusted/Frustrated in Fla.

:applause:

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The bolt IS NOT threaded into the the frame hole.

Sounds like you may have a bad one. Next thing I'd try is an air hammer after letting the PB Blaster set overnight.

Loosen all the remaining engine mount bolts to the frame too. When you heat things, try not to heat the bolt itsself. It's the sleeve the the bolt passes thru the the bolt is seized to and that's what you have to conduct enough heat to to sufficiently expand it to increase the tolerances between it and the bolt so you have a chance of busting loose corrosion between the two and getting the bolt to move. Since the bolt is hollow, can keep it cool by stopping up one end and spraying something cold into it, like A/C coolant or something.

If all this doesn't work, there's an electrical option. I forget the name of it, but it essentially entails using electricity to blast away/break up the corrosion. It's a specialized technique that you'll need to find a shop to do for you.

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I had a similar problem with the same bolt on my 97 400. Tried all the same stuff, impact driver, hammer, etc. Left me scratching my head, enough to even consider that my frame was tweaked (or should I say customized) because there were a few nice dismounts I had.

Basically the old addage held true, just use a bigger hammer. Scared the piss out of me to do it, but find a lond semi soft metal punch (brass, aluminum), use generous amounts of WD40 or liquid wrench or whatever, and get that thing out of there.

To my shock and amazement after I cleaned everything up, greased it, reassembled it without any issues, it was smooth and easy. And straight, proving once again there is not a more bulletproof bike than a XR400.

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If all this doesn't work, there's an electrical option. I forget the name of it, but it essentially entails using electricity to blast away/break up the corrosion. It's a specialized technique that you'll need to find a shop to do for you.

That option is called EDM, or electric discharge machining. A good machine shop will be equipped to do it. I had a broken pinch bolt in a forkleg from a KTM fixed that way. It was a bolt stub in a blind hole, and I made it worse by trying to drill it and back it out with an easy-out. The easy-out broke off in the bolt stub, naturally, so I was stuck. But they EDM'd it out and retapped the hole for $60, which was way cheaper than a new fork lower leg.

I don't know if anyone's tried it on an XR400 swing arm pivot bolt, but in theory it ought to work.

:thumbsup:

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Just a thought but have you loosened up all of the other engine mounting bolts? It's possible that everything is bound up and twisted. A good hard wreck could have mis-aligned everything and it just needs to be free-ed up.

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Trailryder42, blackadder, bwt502 & Itsrock. Just came in from fla heat to watch some nascar via Michigan & cool down from yard labor/work.

Thank you all gentlemen, :thumbsup: for your time, some good ideas & possibility's, (bad crash by previous rider,as handlebars & clutch lever/perch assembly have been replaced and left footpeg is tweaked is evidence of such a twist/impact) Will loosen all engine mtg.bolts then retry by bolt by hand, then w/the MAC impact. Air hammer has been tried on the pivot bolt nut turned upside down again, to provide flat spanking surface, no movement.

I think "short stick nick" :ride: over in japan used his honda vaseline/grease quota for the week by weds morning, and original owner never had a clue or thought about maintenance since he got his hands on it in 2001," it's brand new, could it possibly need" ?

I doubt this puppy/bolt has ever been out in daylight or even a dracula under a shop light. What's sad is that it's got the original 490/695 tires still on it w/alot of use to be had(no miles on scoot,just neglect) only to be sidelined for a quick pair of DOT's to get it thru Fla.DMV hassle. I was lucky there was something left, lightly covering the steering head bearings, what a real man/rider the original owner was ??.

Also the tip about freon/cold is a good one, as on some outboards where the wrist pin is frozen in freezer and piston is heated up to assemble the two w/o two wrist pin clips. (press fit) The bolt is open on threaded end so this will allow jacking of freon (constrict/contract outer dia.of bolt) after I heat up (expand) engine case bolt tunnel area after removing shock/linkage for easy access. This should shock/break it loose if I'm lucky, anyone ever heard of any damage to transmission or bearings from heating up case too much or possibly chance of melting/puddling cast alum case ?

I've got the hammer selection, up to the 8# sledge and a couple of brass drifts/punches to beat crap out of bolt with. I will start w/the loosen engine bolts, then resort to heat and beat session in an hour or so when the temps get under 85, what a sweat-fest we are having here in the sandbox.

If these two suggestions fail to get some movement, I will disconnect all electrical and remove what is feasable/practical and take it to a machine shop for some of THAT THAR EDM, (electric discharge machining) Sounds more promising/technical than a bigger hammer, there's nothing to strike, bolt end only protrudes about 1/2" beyond hole and then it's surrounded by larger frame boss/hole for nut to be recessed/flush against frame/ankle area and is a hollow tube/bolt to speed the deformation. I guess that's the best I can do for the electrical components, unless someone can add another tip/suggetsion for a EDM bike prep. Because the motor & main frame are one, at this point. I'll just wheel the whole scoot to them and have em hook it up to ole sparky.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts/experience, greatly appreciated on this end.

Best of luck to all you riders and as always Happy Trails !

John

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Just an added .02, but after judicious warming of the case where the bolt passes through, try canned air held upside down (It's freon too you know), just a lot cheaper and easier to handle than automotive freon. Upside down dispenses liquid which gets pretty cold.

ps: Also sprayed on an envelope, allows you to read the letter inside , evaporates quickly without leaving a trace (DON'T ASK)

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Do not use this method

The relevant post is buried, so I'm going to quote it here.

I sprained my f*^king old man wrist yesterday banging on the axle (no

jokes please). Time for the dealer to have some of this fun. In a fit of

well-animated disgust, I pushed the trailer out of the back yard (OUCH!!!)

and hooked it up to the truck. I then dragged the no-rear-wheel (rear

shock is being unblown in NH) plutonium Honda up onto the damn trailer..

OUCH^12. At this point, it is reasonable to say I was angry and taking

this whole thing quite personally. When it's personal, the sweet and

charming Mike that all of *you* know goes away and

Get-The-Last-Word-In-And-Then-Kill-The-Bastard Mike takes over. He is not

a nice man and I don't like it when he comes around. Bad Mike was

disgusted at this otherwise immaculately maintained over-weight whore of a

motorcycle would dare pull this crap so he went into the garage and got a

jackstand and ziptied the Big Drift to it, horizontally and then set this

next to the offending axle. He then got the big electric motor that has

been laying on the floor in the corner near the oil tank in the basement

for 30 years muttering something about being able to pay cash for a

hundred KTMs and why should the world give a small rat's ass about this

one 4000 lb paper weight that'll never have the good manners to carry it's

owner to one single trophy no matter how long he waits... (He's not a nice

man). Then he took the motor into his gloved hands... made one practice

windup and then as he directed the XR to "bite me", he SLAMMED the mother

into the drift... the jackstand and the bike with the bike and Bad Mike

left teetering on the rail of the trailer with many, many bad words

continuing to emerge. What a potty mouth.

What could be observed when all were back into stable positions and Bad

Mike finished rubbing the knee he tried to balance on the footpeg with was

that the axle was poking out of the left side of the bike, about 3/4".

This was a GOOD THING and usually Bad Mike will have nothing to do with

happy moments, but this time he stuck around and limped into the garage

and got the long skinny drift muttering more statements of the format "I

win Motherf*^ker" and "Nobody F*&ks with ME". The skinny drift got it out

the rest of the way and it was a little rusty but maybe saveable.. I'll

check again after Bad Mike leaves... He is going to drag the old girl off

the trailer and likely throw her into a heap in the corner so he can carry

the swingarm and axle off under a tree and eat them.

I'll imagine I will want to replace the dust seals.. they look a bit loose

and the bearings, which I haven't been able to get near yet. Should I go

with Honda stuff or does someone make a better product? It's about what's

best.. not $ at the moment. Where should I go if I want to be able to try

and ride this weekend?

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK THE TIME TO HELP ME AND BAD MIKE!!

Good Mike

Mike W.

96 XR400

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Before you spend the money to have someone else beat the crap out of your bike. I came up with a fool proof method that will work everytime.

First buy a new bolt, and dust seals if needed.

Then use or borrow a Sawzal. Cut the blade the long way or buy a very thin metal blade. Cut the bolt at each section so the swingarm will come off. You can get in there pretty easily.

You should have the bolt in 4 pieces. Take the bolt pieces that are attached to the bushings to the maching shop and have them press the bolt out to save the bushings. This is where the bolt has seized. Clean up the bushings so you can reuse them and lube the crap out of everything and reassemble.

After trying the hammer method for a week or so I switch to chop-shop and had it done in about a half hour.

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Before you spend the money to have someone else beat the crap out of your bike. I came up with a fool proof method that will work everytime.

First buy a new bolt, and dust seals if needed.

Then use or borrow a Sawzal. Cut the blade the long way or buy a very thin metal blade. Cut the bolt at each section so the swingarm will come off. You can get in there pretty easily.

You should have the bolt in 4 pieces. Take the bolt pieces that are attached to the bushings to the maching shop and have them press the bolt out to save the bushings. This is where the bolt has seized. Clean up the bushings so you can reuse them and lube the crap out of everything and reassemble.

After trying the hammer method for a week or so I switch to chop-shop and had it done in about a half hour.

Old Corvettes have a similar problem with the trailing arm bolts. A sawzall is the preferred method for removing them.

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I do not think the EDM method will work. I am pretty sure that is a material removal method used by alot of mold making machine shops and not a sparking/electric shock machine. I had a four wheeler with the same problem. Short of bending the frame, I beat on the bolt with a 12 lb. sledge without a budge. I ended up having to do the same as GUMBYXR400. I made new bushings and bought the axle. I hope this helps and good luck!

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I've read on ThumperTalk that Honda is notorious for not greasing bikes enough during assembly. I picked up a 2004 XR400 with only 43 miles on it. Do I need to lube this bolt or should I wait untill it has a few more miles on it?

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You should grease it or face the consequences later. While you are at it grease the steering stem, wheel, and linkage bearings also. Honda is notorious for not greasing anything very well. I think grease must be like gold over there.

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I've read on ThumperTalk that Honda is notorious for not greasing bikes enough during assembly. I picked up a 2004 XR400 with only 43 miles on it. Do I need to lube this bolt or should I wait untill it has a few more miles on it?
I would do it now rather than wait, seeing as how this is a recurring problem with the XRs.

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Before you spend the money to have someone else beat the crap out of your bike. I came up with a fool proof method that will work everytime.

First buy a new bolt, and dust seals if needed.

Then use or borrow a Sawzal. Cut the blade the long way or buy a very thin metal blade. Cut the bolt at each section so the swingarm will come off. You can get in there pretty easily.

You should have the bolt in 4 pieces. Take the bolt pieces that are attached to the bushings to the maching shop and have them press the bolt out to save the bushings. This is where the bolt has seized. Clean up the bushings so you can reuse them and lube the crap out of everything and reassemble.

After trying the hammer method for a week or so I switch to chop-shop and had it done in about a half hour.

I've tried to cut mine out and cant get the blade between the engine bushings and inner bearing casing that runs through the swing-arm it's far to strong to cut through the bearing casing isn't it. (anyone help)mine seems to be seized in there as well should the casing just slide out the way? This has been the worst experience of my life, my bikes only 1 year old and i pulled it apart to grease the bolt after reading they can seize, quickly recked the bolt, thought no worries "ill buy another. That was three weeks ago, gave up after the two weeks and took it to Honda who told me the name of a machinist to take it too. left it there for a week and they stoved the frame in in there 30 ton press not as bad as u might be thinking but this bike is one year old it's bad enough!! lets just say it ain't new anymore. saw it today and took it off them I'll get it out myself if it's the last thing i Eva do. going to try and drill it out tomorrow

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Greetings.....

Please be careful with the freon open flame combination, if my memory serves me, freon and open flame results in a toxic combination, not unlike the bleach amonia gig...

Big Joe

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I've tried to cut mine out and cant get the blade between the engine bushings and inner bearing casing that runs through the swing-arm it's far to strong to cut through the bearing casing isn't it. (anyone help)mine seems to be seized in there as well should the casing just slide out the way? This has been the worst experience of my life, my bikes only 1 year old and i pulled it apart to grease the bolt after reading they can seize, quickly recked the bolt, thought no worries "ill buy another. That was three weeks ago, gave up after the two weeks and took it to Honda who told me the name of a machinist to take it too. left it there for a week and they stoved the frame in in there 30 ton press not as bad as u might be thinking but this bike is one year old it's bad enough!! lets just say it ain't new anymore. saw it today and took it off them I'll get it out myself if it's the last thing i Eva do. going to try and drill it out tomorrow

Can you turn the bolt at all?

My bolt would turn. It had froozen itself to the bushings and not the motor so maybe that is the difference here. I was able to move the swing arm enough to squeeze the blade in there.

I only had to cut through the bolt. I did have most of the bike apart so I could lay it down and move it around to get the right position. Maybe from wacking on it I had spread the frame a little to be able to move it around.

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[2] Won't all this 8# sledge hammering on a hollow bolt end, deform/mushroom end beyond any hope of getting it to pass thru frame hole that you are inching it towards and then have to drive/push/remove it thru five or six more similar holes(swing arm bush/bearings,engine case, and left side of swingarm bush/bearing,left frame hole) on it's route completely out?

Don't worry about ruiining the bolt. It isn't THAT expensive. The threads on the nut aren't strong enough for hammering to remove the bole. You'll need to use some sort of a drift/punch that will go over the end of the bold to prevent mushrooming.

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Just to add my 2 cents worth, I have had the same problem on my 2000 XR400R. Two tips I can offer are to lay the bike on its left hand side and add penetrating oil to the threaded end of the bolt, let it soak overnight. I also used a piece of 5/16 threaded stock through the bolt, put a nut on the threaded end of the bolt. Then used a piece of steel to brace against the frame and added another nut. By tightening up on the left hand side, it puts tension to pull the bolt out. This along with hammering on the right hand side of the bolt did the trick. I did have to drill to open up the hole on the threaded end a little. The threaded stock went in but stopped about 1 inch from the end. I managed to clean up the very corroded bolt, grease it up with Bel-Ray waterproof grease and put it all back together. I have a picture of the bolt sticking out of the frame, but as this is my first post am not sure how to add it?

I hope this helps.

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